Right before I transferred my Shaman, Xata, back to Barthilas I dropped Skinning for Inscription. I leveled it to 415 in about 24 hours. Inscription is a strange profession. I chose it for Xata for several reasons:
- As a herbalist, she has easy access to the raw materials required for Inscription
- Scribes are relatively thin on the ground on Barthilas
- There is only 1 Scribe in my guild and he’s often not online
- If I was going to get serious about raiding with Xata I needed secondary professions, not two gathering professions with mild passive bonuses
- I didn’t want to redo the Sons of Hodir grind
Those reasons remain true and valid (except for that last one now that the shoulder enhancements are Bind to Account). But now that I can make a whole bunch of glyphs, Darkmoon cards, vellum and junk a part of my brain still can’t quite adjust to this profession. And it’s the part of my brain that wonders how it’s possible to make gold out of Inscription.
I hope it doesn’t sound too greedy, but really, if I go to the effort and expense of maxing out a secondary profession I’d like to know how to get some of that investment back. I know what you’re thinking. It’s what I used to think too:
Just make a bunch of every type of glyph, get some AH addons that do all the listing and sell them all for 3g 99s each.
I’ve read Tobold’s article that compares the successful glyph seller to a bargain basement pencil seller. I didn’t like it even though I understood his argument. I’ve skim read some of the How to Make Gold type stuff posted on MMO-Champion. It’s good to know that even extremely smart players trolling the Auction House need Addons to manage their goods. But neither point of view sounds quite right to me.
They write about Inscription as though there is constant and continuous demand for glyphs from players. I don’t think the market feels like that at all.
First off, let me explain the first ummm, lets call it a discrepancy, that my brain struggles to get past: demand. Where is the demand? Who buys glyphs? And how often? There are three types of players and their glyphs as far as I can see it:
- Buys glyphs suitable for leveling, while leveling. Changes those glyphs for something more suitable when they reach max level. Never changes their glyphs again.
- Bought the “best” glyphs once. Never changes their glyphs again.
- End game raiders (or PVPers, I guess) who will replace their least beneficial major glyph with a glyph that will help them for just one fight – then change back to their standard major glyph immediately afterwards.
Until recently I was definitely in group #2. When we reached Algalon I moved into group #3.
Cassandri, my Shadow Priest, has had the same 6 glyphs since the week/month that Inscription was first introduced to the game. My 3 minors are all suitably helpful: Levitate, Fortitude and Shadowfiend. Occasionally I consider replacing my Glyph of Shadowfiend (since Blizzard have made him near invulnerable to AOE damage) but I’m content with this choice for now.
I also have 3 major glyphs and I consider the weakest to be the Glyph of Shadow. For Heroic Anub’arak and Algalon I would replace my Glyph of Shadow for a Glyph of Mind Sear or Glyph of Dispersion respectively. So now I carry a couple of each of these “short life” glyphs in my inventory. Alongside some spare Glyph of Shadow so I can swap back to my standard setup afterwards.
Even so, at the most I was purchasing 2 glyphs per week. During the slow progression weeks, I buy zero.
For my Shaman and Rogue? I never deviated from the standard “cookie-cutter” glyphs that I bought them at level 80. I couldn’t even tell you what glyphs they are.
Other Secondary Professions and Demand
Blacksmithing, Leatherworking and Tailoring remain relevant as armor recipes are introduced into the game with each patch. Tailors can make spellthread. Blacksmiths can make belt buckles. Leatherworkers can make leg patches. Armor crafting, as far as I can see, spikes in demand when the materials to craft the newest, latest armor items are affordable to many. Usually several weeks or a month after new raid content has been released.
Enchanting and Jewelcrafting are always in demand when new gear is introduced, when bosses are dropping upgrades for raiders. You need Black Magic and a couple Haste gems for that new sword? No problem. The demand for item enhancement increases when a large proportion of the realm are receiving new gear: it peaks not long after new raid content is released and then slows down as raiders stop progressing.
Alchemy will always have demand in that serious raiders will consistently attend raids and use a flask throughout the course of a Patch. Even when they stop progressing, stop getting gear upgrades and have their crafted armor they will still raid and still consume their flask of choice.
I won’t comment on Engineering. Don’t they make bullets or something now?
Inscription and Demand
Now lets consider Inscription.
The Darkmoon cards that you can craft in order to form an epic trinket (for a hefty materials cost) were very valuable at the release of Wrath of the Lich King when the Darkmoon Faire trinkets were on par, or in many cases superior, to trinkets from raiding. Now these cards/decks have very little value at all. The materials to craft these cards have not reduced in cost.
Scribes can create various Armor and Weapon Vellum used by Enchanters to put their wares on the Auction House. But on most servers, players (now spoon-fed Enchanting mats right into their inventory), perfer to tip a fee for the services of an Enchanter rather than pay a flat fee (and more expensive fee, once the Enchanter has added in the cost of the Vellum) and buy a Enchant Scroll on the Auction House.
And the demand for glyphs? I still don’t see it.
For any given class/spec, even if you narrow down to the small band of players who fit into Group 3 (the group willing to consume one glyph for a single fight) at the most you’re looking at potentially 3 or so major glyphs that will be on their shopping list.
Alternatively you can hope to sell 6 glyphs to every single character that reaches maximum level. And hope that there are lot of players creating alts instead of spending time playing just 1 character.
Or you could trawl through future patch release information and hope to cash in on a brand new glyph or a change to an existing glyph that might increase demand among existing level 80s.